Artist of Note | Inger Jirby

A world of color

Inger Jirby, Little Church With Super Moon, acrylic, 24 x 30.

Inger Jirby, Little Church With Super Moon, acrylic, 24 x 30.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Inger Jirby’s vibrant depictions of New Mexico seem to be a far cry from her homeland in Sweden. But while growing up in a small town above the Arctic Circle that valued fine art, the best thing a person could be was an artist. “I was surrounded by the colorful paintings of the Fauves in galleries around town,” she says. “I think they are the most beautiful paintings ever done, and they have always been a part of me.”

During her childhood, Jirby says she always “played painter,” and as she grew up she pursued art with a fervent passion. She moved to a small island in Greece where she studied with Mexican painter Luis Orozco and began to develop her own style. Orozco gave her an important piece of advice: “If you paint landscapes, you never run out of things to paint.”

Today, Jirby uses her love of color to portray the varying landscapes around her home in Pilar, NM. She lives a short distance from the Rio Grande, which she often visits for inspiration. She also enjoys the rural villages in the area, which add an architectural element to many of her works. Jirby describes herself as a colorist, an expressionist, and a romantic. While she has studied color theory for many years, she says it is also a part of her emotional being. “I want to take viewers into my fantastic world of form and color,” she says. “I want to show them a beautiful world that is both a reflection of and an improvement on this world.” —Mackenzie McCreary

Jirby’s work can be seen at Inger Jirby Gallery, Taos, NM, and www.jirby.com.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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